Final touch for bulbs entering dormancy

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:16:53 PDT
Hello all,
In my experience the most vexatious pest for bulbs in containers is
mealybugs. I am referring here to the species (possibly more than one) that
especially inhabits the necks of bulbs at or below ground level. Aside from
post facto chemical assault, a good way to minimize these pests is looking
after dead top growth just as plants are going deciduous.
When shoots or leaves are dried they leave a gap that is an air connection
between the bulb and the surface. This is a perfect entryway for mealies,
particularly if there are ants in their service. Bulbs can be protected by
simply pushing in the soil to close off this gap. It is important to make a
firm push rather than merely covering the gap with loose soil. Early in the
dormancy period, as soon as leaves are dried enough to pull easily (or cut
in the case of irids, etc.) I remove the foliage and cave-in the resulting
hole. I believe this has reduced the spread of inevitable pockets of mealy
resistance considerably. This method is more practical for small potted
collections but the principle is the same for garden bulbs.
I would be curious to know if other growers employ this practice.



More information about the pbs mailing list